The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is not exactly peeved at Star India's decision to not bid again for the Team India jersey rights next month. While the Board maintains that there are enough potential bidders who've shown the willingness to participate in the auction, their grouse with Star is that the giant broadcaster has made an attempt to devaluate the property.
Officials who run the affairs at BCCI told TOI that “there's been a great deal of interest" from various partieswho have picked up the tender document-to bag the Indian national team jersey rights for the next five years. To add to it, market sources say Reliance-owned Jio telecom and Chinese mobilemaker Vivo -title sponsor of the Indian Premier League (IPL) are among the top contenders.
The Board sees Star's recent statement saying they “will not bid for the jersey rights“ as an attempt to play down the fact that there's more interest in the property now than what had been the case five years ago. Star had bought the team sponsorship rights back in December 2013, after BCCI's 12-year long association with Sahara ended.
At a reserve price of `1.5 crore per bilateral game and `60 lac for an ICC Asia Cup game, Star was the lone bidder back then to pick the rights at `1.9 crore and `61 lakh respectively.The present reserve prices for the bid have been hiked by 15% of the previous rights sum put in by Star, thereby pushing the figures up by `28.5 lakh and `9.15 lakh respectively.
"Those were difficult times for Indian cricket and there wasn't much interest. Four years have now gone by, and things have improved. Close to half-a-dozen parties have shown interest. Star clearly doesn't like the idea that it has to compete with the market forces now for those same rights and pay more. Still, it's only a 15% hike,“ a source speaking in the interest of the cricket board said.
In an interview with TOI earlier this week, Star India chairman and CEO Uday Shankar said the giant broadcaster would like to refrain from bidding for the jersey rights simply because the commitments being asked for are too onerous without clarity. The BCCI, currently being administered by a CEO and overseen by a four-member Committee of Administrators, says it begs to differ on this point. “Why is there no clarity?In fact things are now running more smoothly than they ever were. Star has sought clarifications from us and if more clarifications are to be sought, the Board is more than happy to do its bit,“ the source added.
Apropos of Star's resentment over the state of affairs, BCCI is very confident that the broadcaster will certainly come to the table and bid on March 8.Star, for the record, has bought the tender document.
“We will sort this out as amicably as possible and ensure that any grievance that they (Star) may have is appropriately looked into,“ a top BCCI official said.
Courtesy: The Times of India